In 2020, over 300 billion emails were sent and received each day. By 2024, that will rise to over 360 billion—a large majority from brands to customers. Are you taking advantage of this lucrative platform? Whether you’re new to email or looking for ways to improve your results, try the following 13 tips to produce successful email marketing campaigns.
1. Set Goals for Successful Email Marketing Campaigns
What are your metrics, benchmarks, and goals of your email marketing campaign? Is your email meant to drive traffic to a blog, close a sale, schedule an appointment, or get better open rates and click-throughs? Determine what constitues success in your eyes and proceed to the following tip to achieve that goal. Almost 60 percent of marketers claim email as their largest source of ROI, so as long as you strategically determine your goals, email should serve you well.
2. Write Strong Headlines and Subject Lines
Headlines and subject lines are the gatekeepers to your content. Make them interesting enough and your audience will click to read your email. If they fall short, you’ll end up in spam or the trash. Create strong and intriguing headlines by asking questions, saying “you”, offering something enticing, increasing urgency with deadlines, and/or creating a cliff-hanger. Also, consider adding emojis. According to research, over half of brands that use emojis in subject lines get higher open rates than those that don’t. The average email open rate is a little over 17–20 percent, so shoot for that or better.
3. Curate a Segmented Email List
According to Hubspot, marketers who use segmented campaigns report a 760% increase in revenue versus non-segmented campaigns. That’s why segmenting is so important; it’s easier to tailor a message to a specific person than everyone in the world. Create highly targeted email lists by organizing your audiences into segmented groups. Create a pop-up on your website for a newsletter sign-up. Run social media ads geared toward email capture. If you have to, consider purchasing email lists, but know that those people will be less interested in your product than people who sign up for emails on their own. If you take the time to segment, you reap new rewards.
4. Personalize Your Emails
Subject lines that include first name personalization get better click-through rates than emails without personal information. Once you segment your emails, personalize them to every individual so your audience feels like you’re talking to them specifically. Depending on your email marketing platform, this should be easy to do. In MailChimp for instance, all you need to do is use a form fiel, <Fname>, in your copy and the name of each individual will populate in their emails. Just make sure you set a secondary option like <friend>, in case this information isn’t available.
5. Only Use One CTA and Make it Clear
Emails shouldn’t confuse people. That’s because you only have fractions of seconds to make your point and get your audience’s attention. For every email, determine one call to action. Use design elements to your advantage like a CTA button in a bold, contrasting color. Try larger or smaller fonts to dictate messaging hierarchy. Utilize intuitive design that includes links to your CTA landing page in multiple places (images, within each paragraph of copy, etc), so they can get there easily.
6. Integrate Rich Text, High-Quality Images, and Video
Images and video attract the user’s eye. In fact, more people prefer rich text with design, imagery, and video than plain text. However, if you use more than a couple of images or videos per email, your click-through rate will suffer. What’s the solution? Use a pleasing but simple layout. Edit, edit, edit! Whatever doesn’t need to be included in your email can live on the landing page. The less fluff the better.
7. Drive Email Traffic to Strategic Landing Pages
Landing pages close the deal. These strategic pages allow customers to complete an action—whether it’s a sign-up, purchase, or something else. Keep your landing pages simple. Include video if you can because this medium increases the conversion rate by over 85 percent. Place the form fields at the top and secondary information below the fold. Learn more about landing pages and savvy strategy, so you execute these critical end-of-sales-funnel elements well.
8. Optimize Emails For Mobile
Nearly half of all email opens happen on a mobile device. That’s because people with smartphones check their email three times more than those without. Emails that don’t work on smart devices get deleted in under three seconds. It’s so important that you optimize your emails for mobile so you don’t miss out with this huge user base! Build emails to load properly on all devices and browsers, but put special emphasis on iPhone and Gmail; these are the preferred device/platform to check email among customers.
9. Deploy Emails on Certain Days and Times
You may have the most effective email in the world, but an inopportune deployment schedule. Change up when you send out emails to boost your open rates and click-throughs. According to research, emails sent on Tuesdays get the best open rates, and mornings are best.
10. A/B Test and Optimize
Learn from your wins and losses to create more successful email marketing campaigns by analyzing your data. Use historical data to check emails sent on the same date and time the previous year. Compare holiday or sales campaigns side-by-side to see which performed best. Make hypothesis based on your findings and A/B test your theories to see what sticks. Most marketers A/B test every email campaign—whether it’s the subject line, rich text versus plain HTML, or other elements. Be flexible, observant, and willing to evolve to improve your email efforts.
11. Don’t Forget Your Generic Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing campaigns are part of your larger email program—something that’s important to iron out when it comes to your evergreen deployments. Do you have a drip campaign like an automated welcome or thank-you email or monthly newsletter? Welcome emails are responsible for over 300 more revenue than promotional emails. Try deploying more stewardship emails (simple thank you and feel-good messages that don’t ask for something) and educational emails (secondarily promotional, but firstly informational and useful for your recipients) so you’re not always asking your customers for something when you show up in their inbox. Give them something useful first and see how far that gets you when you ask for something in return.
12. Always Include an Opt-Out
The enemy to all email marketing campaigns is the spam folder. According to studies, 16 percent of emails never make it to a user’s inbox. You DO NOT want to be marked as spam! Always include an opt-out in your emails so people can elect to remove themselves from your marketing. It’s better to have that happen than get flagged by email platforms and blocked from inboxes.
13. Use a Great Email Marketing Platform
Successful email marketing campaigns rely on great platforms. We personally like MailChimp for smaller email lists, simpler emails, and lower marketing budgets. Sprout Social is a fantastic option for larger clients with bigger budgets. Whichever platform you choose, ensure it has customization, lots of data collection, and an easy interface to make your email marketing a breeze.
Email marketing is only going to grow with the pervasion of the Internet of Things and mobile technology. Get your email marketing up to snuff to take advantage of this marketing channel. If you don’t know where to start, we can help!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018. It’s since been updated with the latest stats and information.